Access Database to PowerApps

PowerApps has been talked of as being similar to MS Access. In reality there is not much to compare the two. There are many MS Access applications around the globe, some of which are probably good candidates for converting to PowerApps. Have you thought about converting an Access database to PowerApps? Organisations tend to look at ways to bring their technology up to date, especially with the possibilities available in Office 365.

MS Access works offline, whereas PowerApps database works online. There are obvious advantages to this and it is worth looking at what you can move across to PowerApps. When looking at how to add access database to PowerApps mobile applications, there are a number of considerations.

When thinking of an Migrate Access database to PowerApps conversions, there could be some MS Access functionality which is not possible to replicate in PowerApps. Mail merge for example. You may decide this type of applications should remain in MS Access. Also, code heavy databases may not transfer well to PowerApps.

That said, can PowerApps be considered a replacement for MS Access?

It is not possible to port MS Access forms over to PowerApps, but there are workarounds. You can create an app that connects to MS Access tables. You can then run your usual queries, reports etc within MS Access.

The best way to do this is to use a SharePoint list.

Export the MS Access Table to SharePoint

Here is a form I have in MS Access.

Access Database

And this is the table that sits behind it.

MS Access-table-design

The first thing I need to do is move this table over to SharePoint.
In MS Access, select the ‘External Data’ tab on the menu bar.
Go to the Export section.
Then select the ‘More’ option.
Now select the ‘SharePoint List’ option.

Note: If your table has a field called ‘Title’, you will have to rename it, otherwise an error will be thrown during the export. SharePoint already has a list field called ‘Title’ so it won’t allow another.
You will then be asked to enter the URL of your SharePoint site.

Then click the ‘OK’ button.
MS Access will now start to export your table and data over to SharePoint.
And here is the ‘tblEmployee’ table, now sitting in SharePoint as a list.

Access-Table-in-sharepoint

When I open the list I can see the data.

Microsoft-Access-in-SharePoint

Now I need to go back into MS Access and connect to this list.

Connect to the SharePoint List from MS Access

Go to the ‘External Data’ menu option.
Under the ‘Imports’ section, click on ‘New Data Source.
Select ‘From Online Services’ followed by ‘SharePoint List’.

Select or enter your SharePoint site URL.
Select the link option and click the ‘Next’ button.

Now select the list and click the ‘OK’ button.

Access-Database-Connect-to-SharePoint

Now go back into MS Access and you should see the SharePoint list link.

Convert-Access-Database-to-PowerApps

Here it has added it as tblEmployee1 because I already have my table called tblEmployee.
Also, it has brought over another link called ‘UserInfo’, but don’t worry about this. At this point I could work with tblEmployee1 and delete the original tblEmployee, but I prefer to keep it in case anything should go wrong. I can now go ahead and build my PowerApps screen.As you can see, an Access database to PowerApps conversion is possible with a workaround.

Access Database to PowerApps Screens

Create a PowerApps Screen

Click on the list to open it up.
On the menu, select ‘PowerApps’ followed by ‘Create an app’.

Microsoft-Access-Database-to-PowerApps

Give the app a name and click the ‘Create’ button.
PowerApps will go away and create a quick app for you based on this list.

PowerApps-gallery

If I click the + button I can add a new record.

PowerApps-Form

Click the tick button to save the record.
Immediately I can see the record has been saved successfully to my SharePoint list.

Sharepoint-list-PowerApps

And if I look in MS Access at my table, I can see the record has gone in there also.

We now have a PowerApps application working with MS Access. For many, this will be the best way to get an Access database to PowerApps. I can tidy the app up by adding in dropdown boxes for values etc, but the basics are there.

Not all systems will benefit from a conversion though. It is worth doing some consulting, not only with users, but I.T. development staff as well before you convert Microsoft Access to PowerApps.

MS Access Replacement

PowerApps and MS Access are two powerful products. When used together, it is possible to create some powerful applications. Not all MS Access databases are going to be suitable to be upgraded to PowerApps, but there will be some that will port over well.

You could even keep forms in MS Access and use PowerApps to provide the mobile functionality on phones for example.

Thank you for reading this article. I​ ​hope​ ​you​ ​learned​ ​something​ ​new​ ​and​ ​I hope​ ​you​ ​will​ ​take​ ​action​ ​on​ ​it.

Also read PowerApps Refresh SharePoint List

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